7th Circuit Upholds Puppy Mill Ban

The Seventh Circuit ruled that banning sales of out of state breeders does not violate the Commerce clause, and should help reduce puppy mills. Since the law's enactment, pet stores in Chicago are limited to selling dogs, kittens, and rabbits purchased from animal shelters, nonprofit humane societies or animal rescue organizations.

Before it's effect in 2015, Chicago based pet shops brought up a federal complaint that accused lawmakers of doing more to help puppy mills with the law than shutting them down. The complaint argues that the ordinance does not eliminate the facilities, but eliminated the source of commercially bred puppies in the county that are highly regulated. So consumers wanting a pure-bred puppy will go straight to the source(the puppy mill) instead of going to the pet stores.

The Seventh Circuit found that they failed to state a claim. U.S. Circuit Judge Diane Sykes states that, "the puppy-mill ordinance doesn’t discriminate against interstate commerce, …

Fake Movie Ticket Offer To Find Fake Pizza Order

Richard Crawford was convicted of placing a fake pizza order to a woman's house, but the New Zealand High Court overturned it because of the hoax movie ticket text a police officer used to track him down and get Crawford's address.

Crawford placed a fake $30 Domino's order last year to the house of a woman who was an unwitting and unwilling recipient. The woman was upset after she got several other anonymous orders made to her house including one occasion where a taxi was ordered to take her to the hospital. There isn't any proof that Crawford is responsible for the other incidents. When the order arrived at the woman's house, she got the phone number of the person who made the order and complained to the police. 
The police sergeant tried to call the number several times with no response, so he ran the number through police systems to no avail. Then he sent the following text: "Thanks for your continued support. You are the winner of two Movie Max 5 session p…

Dog Death on United Airlines

A passenger's dog was inside an overhead bin on United Airlines Flight 1284 from Houston to New York for over three hours after a flight attendant told the passenger to put it there. Airline officials said they made a mistake. When the plane landed at LaGuardia Airport, the dog had passed away.

Spokesman Charlie Hobart told CNN that the flight attendant should not have told the passenger to put the dog in the bin used for carry on bags.

United Airlines has expressed full responsibility and expressed condolences to the family. They are investigating what happened to prevent it from ever happening again.  United has been in contact with the passenger who owned the dog and offered to pay for a necropsy.

United allows pets in the cabin when they are transported in kennels that can fit under the seat. Some types of animals are prohibited from flying on any flight, but this animal was not on that list. 
PETA, the animal rights group, issued a statement calling for the flight attendant r…

Science Teacher Feeds Puppy to Snapping Turtle

A junior high school teacher is under investigation after he allegedly fed a live puppy to a snapping turtle in front of students for an after school demonstration. Robert Crosland has taught science at Preston Junior High School.

The Superintendent Marc Gee said that the event happened after students were dismissed and was not part of any school directed program.

Former students said that Crosland had previously fed guinea pigs to snakes he keeps in his classroom. It is not clear if the guinea pigs or the puppy were alive before the teacher decided to feed them to his reptiles and amphibians.

Gee says that the district is taking steps to ensure that this action is not repeated.

The Department of Agriculture took the turtle away from Crosland, and had it euthanized. Crosland is under investigation for the alleged animal mistreatment, but he has not been cited or charged and has not been placed on leave.

More than 129,000 people have signed a petition calling for his firing.

The Ida…

Warrantless Motorcycle Search

A Virginia man was arrested after a police officer walked onto his driveway and pulled back a tarp covering a stolen motorcycle.

The exceptions of the Fourth Amendment dates back to a warrantless search of a suspected bootlegger's car looking for illegal alcohol. In that case, the Supreme Court found that a vehicle could be searched without a warrant as long as police have probable cause to believe it contains contraband or evidence of a crime because cars are mobile, and the evidence can be moved before the police are able to obtain a warrant to search them.

The Virginia case started with two high speed chases of a distinct orange and black motorcycle driven by Ryan Collins. In one chase, a police officer wrote down the motorcycle's license plate and recorded images of it. The number led police to a man who said he sold the motorcycle to Collins after telling him it was stolen. Then an officer looked at Collin's Facebook page, which had photos of an orange and black motor…

NRA v. Florida

The National Rifle Association has sued the Florida Attorney General and Commissioner of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement over a recently-passed law that forbids the purchase of rifles by persons under the age of 21.  The law was passed after a public outcry over a massacre at a Florida high school in which a former student who had been expelled from the school used a semi-automatic rifle to shoot and kill many students.  The thought behind the law was that by preventing the sale of rifles to those under age 21, as opposed to 18, this would make it harder for a student or recent student at a school to shoot up the school.

     Enter the NRA.  The NRA, in NATIONAL RIFLE ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA, INC, V.  PAM BONDI and RICK SWEARINGEN, filed suit seeking a ruling from the United States Distict Court for the Northern District of Florida that the law is unconstitutional and that the chief persons in charge of enforcing that law be prevented from doing so.

     There have been …

Rape, Alcohol, and DNA

Recently I defended a man, we will call him "Fred," accused of rape.  Fred's female accuser had been at a "party" with about 20 other people, including Fred.  The accuser, MC, said she was drunk, went to lie down in her boyfriend's car, and then Fred came to the car, got on top of her, pulled her pants down and raped her.  MC described the weight of his chest pushing down on her hands and that her hands could not move to get free.  She described the act, the sexual penetration, said that it continued for 10-15 minutes while she continually told my client "no," and that he suddenly stopped and walked away without saying a word.

When a rape kit was done, my client's DNA was found in MC's vagina.

An open and shut case?  No.  The jury, which included a rape victim among its members, unanimously acquitted Fred of the charge of rape.

Now for the rest of the story.

     Let's start with Fred's DNA.  The forensic lab that detected Fre…